The Internet of Things (IoT) and the pervasiveness of cloud-based applications and services further reinforce the need to have security embedded at the heart of IoT, cloud and between clouds.

Every day, we get closer to the cloud. Already today, many of the different services that we have grown accustomed to use reside somewhere away from us, we don’t know exactly where. From the videos we watch, the music we stream to the e-mails we exchange, we are more at ease with cloud services on a daily basis. Security is of course important for us, even for the seemly “innocuous” applications but it will be more so as the services we use carry or rely on data that is more sensitive to all of us.

From medicine to transportation to financial services

From financial information to medical records to connected cars, more and more sensitive applications will increasingly be cloud-based whether we like it or not. And while the hacking of a Facebook account can rank as a nuisance, most of us will be very unhappy if our savings disappear as result of a security flaw, which could cost people and businesses anything from a few dollars to millions, as recently happened to Bangladesh’s central bank when USD 81 million were stolen in what now seems to have been a movie-like heist performed by unknown hackers.

Data protection "in-flight"

The pervasiveness of cloud services and the need for the cloud to be secure also tells us that data needs to be protected not only while at “rest” at end points but also “in-flight” as it moves between different clouds, both public and private. Enhanced encryption not only at the application layer but at optical/transmission layers can for example add increased security by protecting data end-to-end, also at the network layer.

The dawn of the Internet of Things (IoT), enabled by cloud-based services and all the opportunities this can enable will also bring more and new security risks. With 28 billion connected devices expected by 2021, the urgency to deliver security for the cloud and the IoT is being continuously voiced at important stages such as Mobile World Congress and more recently CommunicAsia.

Data security in the IoT

To further highlight the importance of security, over the last couple of years, researchers posing as potential hackers have made it their mission to show the vulnerabilities of several IoT scenarios. We have seen concerning recent examples in hacked pacemakers and hacked cars to name just two. In a world that will see most cars being connected very soon, we need these issues not to happen at all.

In an all connected world, every connection can be a vulnerability. It is today when we need to start building for a near future, when billions of IoT devices connected by different access types and together generating Petabytes of data flowing between clouds are the new normal. While digital disruption will define the business landscape in the years to come, increased security will be required for everything, everywhere and it will need to be at the foundation of everything we do; from the silicon in every device to the cloud. Are we doing enough?

To further explore our vision of cloud security, please read our white paper: Cloud security architecture - from process to deployment

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Background photo by Deirdre Straughan.


Andres Torres

Andres has over 15 years of experience in the ICT industry from strategic marketing to technical customer support. Having worked with the Ericsson services organisation for several years, Andres has participated in numerous telecommunications projects in four continents, adding unique experiences to his technical, customer and cultural backgrounds.

Andres Torres